NPREd on Combating "Teacher Disillusionment"
According to the National Public Radio (NPR) Education team, "one in 10 teachers will leave the classroom by the end of their first year, and teachers are particularly vulnerable in October and November". Read the excerpt from NPR's Thanksgiving Day post below. While it's written from a K-12 teacher perspective, I believe that the experience applies to the spectrum of K-Adult educators.
Ellen Moir, CEO of the New Teacher Center, which runs mentor programs in roughly 200 districts nationwide, has decades of anecdotes to show that October hits hard. She even has a name for this time of year: The Disillusionment Phase. "As they get six or seven weeks into school, they realize how tough it is to be a really good teacher," says Moir. "They need someone saying, 'You are not horrible. You are not a fraud.' "
First-year teachers who have someone they see as a mentor are more likely to stick it out. So, what about the new teachers who feel like they are out there on their own, with nothing more than a pat on the back and their own good intentions? For them, veteran teacher Roxanna Elden has developed a free "disillusionment power pack." Teachers who sign up receive a month of motivating emails sent every few days from Elden, an English teacher at Hialeah High School near Miami who has been teaching for more than a decade.
Her goal: get new teachers to Thanksgiving break. Know an educator who has hit a slump? Maybe this will help. You can read more about this here.
I'm thankful for the education mentors I've had along the way. Are you? It's never too late to thank those who've helped you survive those first years.
Happy Thanksgiving to All.